Outfitted with 8 wheels and innovative Chariot (Merkava) tank technology, the new homemade armed personnel carrier (APC) has gone into operational service with the Israel Defense Forces, the IDF reported on Sunday, May 28. The new APC takes the place of the old M-113 used for decades but no longer up to today’s combat challenges. The new product has a maximum speed of 90km and offers improved protection to the three-man crew aboard. It can carry up to a dozen fighting men.
The first vehicles coming off the assembly line at the Tel Hashomer base were handed over to the Nahal Brigade and the Southern Command. Several more were transferred to the northern command for training on hilly terrain. Each Eitan APC is composed of a million particles including 20 tons of steel, 30km of wiring and 6km of communications cables.
The head of the defense ministry’s Armored Vehicles Directorate, Brig. Gen. Oren Giber, told the receiving forces during the handover: “You’re getting the last word in armored vehicles and are protected in a way that enables you to beat the enemy while also returning home safely.”
The Nahal Commander Col. Oren Simcha responded: “Eitan will change the way this brigade fights and make it better operationally, safer and more independent.”